City Challenges
Smart urbanism

Meet the Experimenters in London

The time has come to announce the successful applicants of the first OrganiCity open call and rolling call of 2016!

The final selection was made against how well each experiment addressed city challenges and co-creation, their use and validation of the OrganiCity facility and tools, the novelty of the idea, and whether the experiment could feasibly achieve what it set out to within the limited experimentation period.

The first London OrganiCity experiments:

  • Colour-in CityThe Colour-in City team are partnering up with Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) and Lambeth Council to improve wellbeing amongst parents living in overcrowded housing in Coldharbour, Stockwell, Tulse Hill and Vassall. Colour-in City hope to support LEAP in developing a better understanding of the needs of residents, track a range of interventions against subjective wellbeing using live data, build support around the needs and aspirations of residents and help residents to improve their own wellbeing through co-producing a digital tool.
  • MobiliCity: MobiliCity is an initiative to conduct citizen-led experiments and gather data on London’s transport network in order to highlight the challenges faced by mobility-impaired users and recommend accessibility improvements. MobiliCity are developing an app that will track the position of volunteers as they travel across the transport network. This data will then be used to infer ‘mobility black spots’ – areas in London with physical constraints posing accessibility problems to users. These areas will then be highlighted and we hope to report our findings to authorities responsible for areas of difficulty, including TfL, Network Rail and London Boroughs with possible design improvements.
  • AirPublic: AirPublic is a social enterprise, which formed after winning the UK Climathon in July 2015. The experiment aims to provide Internet of things enabled networks of mobile pollution sensors, which can be mounted onto cars and bikes to generate high-resolution, real-time and low cost spatial maps of air pollution. This granularity of data could allow more informed, localised policy and planning decisions to be made around air quality, and engage the wider public in real-time apps. AirPublic will use the Sensinact tool to integrate their mobile air quality sensors and test the IOT facilities of the Organicity platform. Up until now many small sensors have not produced reliable data; the aim of this experiment is to produce data that can be taken seriously by policy makers, planners and the public and enable them to make informed decisions about air pollution.
  • Spend Network: Spend Network proposes a user friendly insight analysis tool for London-based government, citizens and SMEs to improve procurement efficiency and competition. Having already developed a robust, open database on public spending and tenders, they now hope to create insights by linking their rich data assets with OrganiCity’s Data Observatory. The data will be presented through a common vocabulary and will be linked to other data around suppliers, budgets and quality to give citizens and government the opportunity to more efficiently plan their future procurement, ensure quality of supplies and assess the value for money they are achieving in their contracts.
  • Tranquil City: Tranquil City aims to investigate the positive impacts of tranquil spaces on citizen’s health and mobility in London using crowd-sourced data, OrganiCity’s sensor network and transport data. By understanding the benefits of tranquil spaces situated within the urban landscape, they hope to promote the use of these spaces to city dwellers to help improve citizens’ health and wellbeing and better protect, nurture and create more tranquil spaces in the cities of the future.
  • Magenta Srl: Magenta Srl will look at participatory traffic monitoring with IoT sensors. The experiment will be based in the London Borough of Hackney, where a network of IoT sensors will be deployed to monitor live traffic conditions. The data collected will made available on Organicity’s Urban Data Observatory tool and will be used to measure behaviour changes in correspondence with specific events. Citizens and stakeholders will be invited to co-create measurement campaigns, host sensors and contribute to storytelling activities based on the data collected.
  • Measuring water pollution in the River Lea: Helen Steer’s team hope to reduce river pollution through the use of technology, education and the community. Deploying an Internet of Things enabled water sensing kit, the experiment aims to capture real time data of the quality of the River Lea. The sensing kit will measure pH, conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP). This sensing station will be linked to a local school, who will use it as a basis for a class project with the team’s guidance, the help of a scientist, a geographer and the Thames 21 Love Your Lea project. They will then collaboratively create lesson plans, worksheets, teacher notes and curriculum links and an app using Tinkerspace. This will allow other educators and students to see, investigate and use the data in conjunction with the lesson plans and worksheets.
  • IF: IF proposes to measure air quality in London’s buildings to improve citizens’ understanding of the air quality inside their homes and workplaces. The team will be iterating on a prototype of an indoor environment monitoring device developed earlier this year by experimenting with the OrganiCity platform. The team will co-design the interface with residents to understand how to make indoor air quality information useful. By finding out how people people interact, live and work with environmental monitoring devices, they’ll build something that helps improve people’s understanding of indoor air quality over time. The prototype will be developed with the privacy and security of the people that use it in mind. Building it this way will demonstrate the viability of building connected products that are useful but also secure.
  • WayfindrWayfindr is exploring navigational technologies, these hold the key to a revolution in independent navigation for blind and partially sighted people. Wayfinding will utilise bluetooth beacon technologies and through ‘smart phones’ will truly open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss. We have teamed up with transport services in London, vision impaired people and developers to create and test Wayfinding in the London underground network. By exploring usability within the transport infrastructure we will establish how we make Bluetooth Beacon datasets accessible and will stimulate the creation of navigational services for Vision Impaired citizens.

You will be able to meet the London experimenters for the first time at the Urban Innovation Centre on December 8th. Details coming soon. In the meantime, follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts to keep up to date with the experiments as they kick-off!

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